by: Marie Letterii
Week 11 of the regular season brought the Lizards down to North Carolina to take on the Charlotte Hounds. After losing the first battle against the Hounds 14-12 at home on May 31, the Lizards headed into American Legion Memorial Stadium looking to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The game opened up with each team scoring back-to-back goals. Peet Poillon started for the Hounds, followed by Mike Sawyer to give Charlotte a 2-0 lead. The Lizards quickly answered back with Steve Mock scoring on a pass from Rob Pannell, and Pannell going back to the cage on his own. Charlotte then went on a three goal scoring run, with Matt White, Josh Hawkins, and Mason Poli all helping to give the Hounds a 5-2 lead at the close of the first quarter.
Kevin Drew scored his first goal of the season for Charlotte to extend the Hound’s lead to four, followed by Ryan Young, who put the Hounds up 7-2. David Earl put a stop to the Lizard’s 13 minute scoring drought, finding the back of the cage with just under 12 minutes left in the half. Charlotte responded with a two point goal from Peet Poillon and Ryan Young’s rebound of Jake Tripuka’s blocked shot. Poillon completed a hat trick, scoring his third goal of the afternoon with 21 seconds left in the first half, closing out the second quarter with the Lizards trailing 11-3.
Eric Lusby scored his first goal of the day less than a minute into the second half. Steve Mock then broke the Lizard’s 15 minute scoring drought with 11 minutes left in the third quarter, scoring his second goal of the night. Penalties on Matt Danowski and Brian Karalunas put both teams down a man with just under ten minutes left in the half. An unsportsmanlikeconduct call on Joe Cinosky then put the Lizards on the man up advantage. Both teams remained scoreless until the final three seconds of the quarter, when David Earl scored one for the Lizards, ending the third with the Lizards trailing 12-5.
Heading into the final fifteen minutes of play, the Lizards began their comeback, going on a 4-1 scoring run. Starting off, Steve Waldeck scored his second two point goal of the season, cutting Charlotte’s lead to five. Goals followed quickly by Jake Tripuka and Rob Pannell, scoring their first and second goals of the evening respectively. Pannell completed his third hat trick of the season with just under seven minutes to go in the fourth, followed by a two-point goal by Max Seibald to put the Lizards within two. Penalties followed on Max Seibald and Drew Adams, sending John Geagan into the cage with the Lizards down by two in the final two minutes of the game. A time out by Coach Spallina gave the Steve Waldeck the final possession of the game behind Charlotte’s two point arch with only two second remaining on the clock. Despite the outstanding comeback and 6-2 scoring run by the Lizards in the second half, New York suffered their second two point loss to the Hounds this season.
In the 13-11 loss, Greg “Beast” Gurenlian went 16-22 at the face-off X and five different Lizards players found the back of the net, including two-point goals by Steve Waldeck and Max Seibald. Drew Adams was credited with 18 saves, and John Geagan added one, his first of the season. The Lizards return home next Saturday, July 27, when the take on the Rochester Rattlers at Hofstra University at 6:30 PM. The Lizards remain at home for their final three games of the season, facing the undefeated Denver Outlaws and Ohio Machine each once more. For more information about any of the Lizard’s remaining games or to purchase tickets, go to NYLizards.com.